Iconic Wolf Blass wine turns 40

MILESTONE: Wolf Blass winemakers Chris Hatcher, Marie Clay, John Ashwell, Steve Frost and Clare Dry celebrate the 40th vintage of winery's iconic Black Label.

MILESTONE: Wolf Blass winemakers Chris Hatcher, Marie Clay, John Ashwell, Steve Frost and Clare Dry celebrate the 40th vintage of winery's iconic Black Label.

Wolf Blass Winery is celebrating four decades since the inception of its iconic Black Label – the only wine in history to win four prestigious Jimmy Watson trophies.   

This year marks the 40th vintage of the estate’s Black Label Cabernet Shiraz Malbec 2012, which won the Jimmy Watson Trophy for three consecutive years at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.

“...Melbourne was my first wine show and little did I know then, that I would work for Wolf Blass for more than 28 years – 20 as chief winemaker – and we would win a fourth ‘Jimmy’ with the 1998 vintage,” said Chris Hatcher, Wolf Blass chief winemaker.  

“It’s been a very interesting journey for a wine to maintain that quality over a 40-year period.

“It goes back to what Wolf did when he first started making wine – he was really looking for a style of wine that had soft tannins and a lovely plush middle palate.

“It was really the hallmark of all the red wines he made, but in particular, Black Label was the real icon of that style.

“We’ll get vintage out of the way and then we might have a bit of a celebration, but the reality is it’s nice to be able to put the wine out onto the market and see it successful.”

Black Label won the Jimmy Watson Trophy four times at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.

Black Label won the Jimmy Watson Trophy four times at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.

Black Label will feature as the star wine in the Wolf Blass 2016 Luxury Collection, which will be launched on March 3. 

“The 2016 Luxury Collection represents Australian winemaking at its very best, with the passion, creativity and dedication of our viticulture and winemaking teams evident in every bottle,” Mr Hatcher said. 

The collection also includes White Label Piccadilly Chardonnay 2015, Grey Label McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013, Grey Label Langhorne Creek Cabernet Shiraz 2013 and Medlands Vineyard Platinum Label Shiraz 2012. 

“2015 was an exceptional season in the Adelaide Hills and the White Label Chardonnay displays all the hallmarks of this great vintage,” Mr Hatcher said. 

“Grey Label reds from 2013 are, as always, elegant expressions of their unique terroirs, while our iconic Black Label and Medlands Vineyard Platinum Label Shiraz hail from the outstanding 2012 vintage, a near perfect season in South Australia, well regarded for producing some truly remarkable red wines.” 

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